My First Traffic Violation in Jamaica

I’m STILL laughing about this one!  I got pulled over for my first time yesterday in Jamaica – for not wearing a seat belt.  First of all this is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard because I’ve never seen anyone wear a seat belt here, second the only other time police have paid attention to me is when they’re trying to hit on me.

 

 

So we were driving through Port Antonio minding our own business, we passed some police on the side of the road – no big deal.  A few minutes later I notice a couple of them on motorbikes following us and my friend and I joked about them stopping us for no seat belts.  Nothing happened and they continued to follow, then at that point they rode up on our side and told us to pull over.

 

 

I have to admit the first thing that crossed my mind is extortion and what they were going totry to get out of me, because I’ve heard stories about such things. The next thing I thought of was my blog and how I could get pictures of this event without being caught LOL! Obviously I got them, even if they’re a little crappy but I had to take them without being noticed. These police were in full riot gear too, members of the “jump out” squad we were told, those are the ones who do raids.

 

 

So it took two motorbikes and three officers to charge us with driving without seat belts. We were laughing so hard that I was sure the next thing they’d want to test me for is to see if I was drunk! I was so entertained at being pulled over that I thanked the officer for issuing the ticket, then I asked him if anyone’s ever thanked him for a ticket before. He proceeded to explain to me that my ticket is $500 jmd (which almost made me laugh harder), and that if I wish to contest it I could appear in court on June 7. I’m totally regretting that I won’t be able to appear in court because YOU KNOW I would, but it would cost me more in gas to drive back to Port Antonio than the ticket is worth. I would definitely come to fight a $6 USD ticket just for fun.

 

 

After they left us alone and we put on our seat belts we actually read our tickets. Both myself and my friend received the same ticket….only HERS said “driving without a seat belt” and she was the passenger. So in the next couple days we will go to the place where tickets are paid and fork over the cash to clear it up.

 

15 Comments

  • Andy says:

    The only time I got pulled over was in Port Antonio also, stopped to buy ackee and pulled away from the vendor with out my seat belt, was just about to reach Goblin Hill, almost home, when I came upon a large group. Yup $500 no seat belt ticket, popped back into town and paid it.

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  • JC says:

    The people at the villa where I am have said the the police out here are hard!

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  • Jamaipanese says:

    no seat belt eh? Well at least it was fun.

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  • Angie says:

    Great story and pictures! I love following your journey in Jamaica. How fun.

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  • Janet says:

    You’re lucky the cost of the ticket was not more – then you’d find out about ‘backhanders’ to our very corrupt police force! We’ve had to fork out thousands in the past…….but its a way of life and in Rome do as the Romans do…..or Jamaica!!!

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  • elon says:

    hope yuh learn yuh lesson,yuh just get caught up with the wrooong ppl,lol!

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  • Kristi says:

    Wrong people?? I was with myself and another Canadian LOL!!

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  • Ayo says:

    Woiii hahaha The Jamaican taxi drivers aren’t into seatbelts … some of them blatantly disregard it all together. $500. jm eh! Could but me a burger at Burger King! Don’t let them catch you speeding ..not so pretty :S

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  • Kristi says:

    Ayo I did get pulled over for speeding once but THANKFULLY I had a friend in the car who was a soldier with the JDF and he just happened to know the officer. How lucky was that!!!!

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  • ROSE says:

    We were “Randomly Stopped” coming out of St. Elizabeth going toward Kingston… They had me get out of the car and the guy driving had to open all our bags in the trunk and checked all of our paperwork ie..rental car and his drivers license…there were 6 guys with big guns and 3 cars there. Then they asked my friend if he was in a band and sent us on our way. What an experience!

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  • Kristi says:

    LOL Rose that’s interesting because about 20 minutes after this stop that I just posted about, we were stopped AGAIN up the road. This one was a random spot check and they did go through our car as well. Seemed weird…..we thought maybe the seatbelt police called the spot check up the road and told them to watch for us and stop us again.

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  • ShaSha says:

    A little disgusted by your blatant disregard for a law that’s intended to save your life if necessary. Doesn’t matter what the compliance rate is. Nothing “funny” about this.

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  • Kristi says:

    ShaSha, people forget to put seat belts on all the time. It’s not that I BLATANTLY disregarded the law, I forgot to put my seat belt on LOL. A blatant disregard for the law would have been reckless driving or stunting or speeding, putting OTHER lives in danger.

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  • patrick says:

    kristi: were you in a marked rental car?

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  • Kristi says:

    No it wasn’t an obvious rental car. It was rented through a company called Hummingbird at the time but it was not a super late model.

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